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Archives (Past Group Reads) > DISCUSSION (SPOILERS) Familiar Scars

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message 1: by Sherry (new)

Sherry (SherylMarasi) | 150 comments Mod
Please discuss Familiar Scars here.

message 2: by Svetlana (new)

Svetlana Kovalkova-McKenna Great Prologue! It shows that author has promise. Burn everything else and start over!

The first thing I want to say is that the book does not live up to its cover and description. You are promised a dark Victorian novel, maybe even a horror story. However, as you dive into the book, after a brilliant prologue, the promise of a “Sweeny Todd”-like atmosphere turns to roses-and-doves. With horror, I found myself in the cheesiest failed historical romance novel. I say failed, because Victorian romance novels, even 176 page ones, require either a lot of research or deep knowledge of Victorian times. The author has neither.
The infamous f*** word was not used during Victorian times, performers were not invited to mingle with guests as equals and were not considered marriage material, Victorian LADIES did not wear dresses that opened their nipples for the world to see, and the word “self-esteem” was not something women during Victorian times repeated to themselves over and over again.
Yes, the are some historical exceptions to that, but does every bad novel have to have a rags to riches story without the benefit of being well plotted and written down without countless typos and grammatical mistakes? Also, I do not think a surgery to correct a harelip on an infant existed until the 20th century. And so on…
A well written Victorian novel leaves you a bit more educated about history, and a well written book keeps you on your toes until the end. This book failed on both ends. Shortly after the girls move in with Mr.Satine (chapter 2), it is obvious how everything is going to end unless you are 11 and never read a romance novel in you life. Remember Mom’s advice: the boy who pulls your braids is in love with you (Mr.Satine- Orabella); the boy who smiles at you is either gay or a long lost brother (Mr.Satine – Rosalyn).
Ok. Let’s set aside the historical inaccuracies and total predictability of the book. The plot has some serious problems with brother recognizing sister immediately, but sister, who still has nightmares about her brother’s “death,” is clueless when she meets him. The kind of wounds the children had should have killed them without any medical care, not only because of the bleeding for hours in the dirty river (infection and etc…), but also because being in the water stops the blood from clotting (bathtub suicides), and you die. Why did Peter have to be maimed in order to join the happily ever after? Did Orabella’s baby have to be born with a harelip to truly belong?
Let’s go back to the prologue once again. The book’s prologue was the only reason it is going to get three stars out of me instead of one. The prologue was great; it had promise and whispered to me that the author has it in her to write something amazing. She would have to burn everything past the prologue and start over. Keep the cover, use it as an inspiration (I think illustrator’s and author’s names are aliases of the same person), and get the book edited for constant typos, grammatical mistakes. and misusage of verbs – it is like eating a soup with worms. I read the book for the group read; otherwise it would be goodbye after the first chapter.
Oh, and because all of the main characters have some kind of disfigurement, the whole book reminded me of a famous Mother Goose rhyme:

There was a crooked man
and he walked a crooked mile,
he found a crooked sixpence
upon a crooked stile,
he bought a crooked cat
which caught a crooked mouse,
and they all lived together
in a little crooked house,
and he walked a crooked mile,
he found a crooked sixpence
upon a crooked stile,
he bought a crooked cat
which caught a crooked mouse,
and they all lived together
in a little crooked house

If only all of us could say it as well as Mother Goose could

message 3: by Sierra (new)

Sierra Rose (SierraRose) | 35 comments First Victorian stories have never been my favorites. However, this one may change that. Yes, it was short but at 176 pages it was amazing.

As a reader, from start to finish it was delightful, enjoying, and a pleasure to read. I didn't find anything wrong with how it was written, if there were typos then they weren't glaring or severe or they would have jumped out and they didn't. Anyone who is interested in reading a historic or Victorian romance will adore this tale.

I found the characters interesting. From the start, the author handled them well. It was not clear how it would end as soon as the other review stated. The author gave no clue that Mr. Satine was Albin, Rosalyn's brother. I found him either likable or a brute until toward the end then he grew on me. I enjoyed reading the characters and they were written well and didn't feel flat or lifeless. It was easy to see what you were reading which is important.
For a reader, the story is vital and this story is wonderful and should not be changed in any way....unless to be made longer.

The only thing I would say is it could have used justification to straighten the right edge out. That was the only flaw I found.

I enjoyed this read from start to finish and I bore easily so if I hadn't liked it I wouldn't have gotten past chapter two. Great job and I hope to read more of your work.

message 4: by Christy (last edited Aug 09, 2009 03:36PM) (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) Thank you Sierra! You're review was so nice and you were the first and only to post it on lulu!

Oh, Svetlana! I knew you were going to hate it lol Sorry you didn't enjoy it. I don't really disagree with anything you said BUT:

Familiar Scars by Christy Leigh Stewart
the artist and I aren't the same person. Megan Hansen is an actual illistrator and a good friend of mine. If I were that good an artist I would stick to that (I'm sure no one would disagree)

Her profile is Megan Hansen and mine is Christy Leigh Stewart (I don't want to give her a bad rep)

message 5: by Sierra (new)

Sierra Rose (SierraRose) | 35 comments I'm not sure how well the reviews help on Lulu but figured it can't hurt. I'd put it on Amazon if I could find it.

message 6: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) It's not on Amazon, but thank you! The lulu one gives the page more to look at lol

message 7: by Svetlana (new)

Svetlana Kovalkova-McKenna Going back to the prologue. I have noticed that you do much better in expressing youself in fewer lines. Even your posts are more to the point with fewer words, the opposite is true for most people. Have you tried writing a collection of short stories? Or Poetry?

message 8: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) I don't get poetry, I'm not deep enough.

I do a lot of vignettes that I plan on publishing, I don't suck to badly at those.

message 9: by Svetlana (new)

Svetlana Kovalkova-McKenna Can we be treated to a sample of those?

message 10: by Svetlana (new)

Svetlana Kovalkova-McKenna I disagree with this piece on so many levels, especially with the sentence before last,that I am not even going to start.

message 11: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) It's not supposed to be something you agree with.

Also, you asked.

message 12: by Svetlana (new)

Svetlana Kovalkova-McKenna I know.

message 13: by Sierra (new)

Sierra Rose (SierraRose) | 35 comments I don't think it's supposed to an agreeable piece considering the subject matter.

Christy, I don't think you need to be deep to do poetry. Usually all you need is a couple lines to start with and a desire to write it. That's how it started with my poetry collection.

message 14: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) I also think I might not be smart enough to write a poem lol I'll give it a good shot though.

message 15: by Sierra (new)

Sierra Rose (SierraRose) | 35 comments Christy, you're very smart. I admit writing poetry must be one of the hardest genres to write. I personally have to be in extreme emotional stress or grief to write a line of it.

message 16: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) I think I might have a better chance if I couple it with some other goal. I have been thinking about making a super sigil, I can use a porm for that.

message 17: by Wendy (new)

Wendy (wldinnis) Christy, I thought your book had a lot of potential but I think it needed to be elaborated on a lot more. The prologue was grippping but the rest of the story went by so quickly it almost made your head spin.

message 18: by Christy (new)

Christy Stewart (christyleighstewart) Thank you~

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